The Westport Farmers’ Market is proud of its many vendors. They sell honey, ice cream, tamales and pizza, along with the usual (and delicious) fruits, vegetables and meats.
Today they’re particularly proud of one.
Patti Popp has just been named 2017 Farmer of the Year.
That’s not some silly online poll. The honor comes from the Farmers’ Almanac and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Popp is one of 3 outstanding farmers or ranchers throughout the country — and the only woman. All were chosen for their support of the farming tradition; innovation in agriculture; community involvement, and inspiration as an agricultural leader.
Popp grows produce, and raises chickens and pigs, at Sport Hill Farm in Easton. She operates a community-supported agriculture program, and a retail store sellling locally grown and crafted goods.
In the summer Sport Hill Farm sponsors a children’s camp. She hosts other events throughout the year, including farm-to-table dinners and workshops.
Popp calls herself an “accidental farmer.” In 2000 she and her husband purchased a home with enough property to grow vegetables and raise chickens.
They learned to farm by trial and error — reading books, and asking questions of other farmers.
Westport Farmers’ Market director Lori Cochran-Dougall says, “Not only does Patti grow some of the choicest food in the area, she gives of herself to the community in an unparalleled way.
“We always count on Patti to dig in when we need anything — from offering fresh food, to partnering with local chefs, to volunteering for events that help folks make a connection between the farm and our food system.”
You can see the national Farmer of the Year at the Westport market on Imperial Avenue every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., now through November 9.